How can technology improve talent acquisition?

June 8, 2022

Manfred Vogels, Director, Relationship Management EMEA at Beeline, offers his perspective on the use of technology in the age of talent scarcity.

In a survey of more than 900 CEOs, acquiring talent ranks first as their biggest internal focus for 2022. The survey, by The Conference Board, put a spotlight on the concern in the C-Suite surrounding talent acquisition and retention, especially as talent becomes more scarce. These concerns are manifesting in several ways:

  • Job requirements. Should your company resolve labor shortages by becoming more easy-going over qualifications?
  • New working conditions. What skills and characteristics are needed as working practices change?
  • Regulation and compliance. How is the regulatory environment changing around human capital and talent? How can you ensure you have a full audit trail to prove compliance?
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion. What are your responsibilities as an employer to offer equal pay? Does this responsibility apply to your extended workforce?
  • Labor pools. What additional pools of labor can you leverage to acquire new talent?
  • Cost optimization. How much should you budget to acquire the talent that you need? Is this realistic or feasible?

There’s a significant weight to these issues. Getting it wrong could spell disaster, with the consequences ranging from labor shortages and quality nonconformities, to fines and penalties for noncompliance.

Technology, however, can help guide decision-makers over each hurdle. To learn how, we asked Manfred Vogels, Director, Relationship Management EMEA at Beeline, to explain how new tech can optimize your labor spend, automate compliance work, and find entirely new sources of talent.

New market conditions for non-permanent workers

Organizations face a period of high inflation, rising costs, and an entirely new makeup of their workforce. The events of the last few years have redefined work and tough decisions had to be made.

“The airline industry demonstrates the scale of this change. Airlines had their revenues impacted overnight and they needed to make decisions over their workers quickly,” Manfred explained.

Across Europe, headcounts at airlines fell across the board. Some cut as much as 40% of their workforce, meaning tens of thousands of positions were made redundant to minimize early-pandemic cash burn. The managers making these tough decisions needed to understand where they could afford to reduce their headcount while still retaining the skills and talent they needed to operate when operations resumed.

“To make these decisions, management needed clear, transparent data on individuals, their roles, their skills, and their pay, whilst also considering their qualifications. Without this, they wouldn’t be able to analyze the makeup of their workforce and make the decisions they needed to,” he continues.

To have the right data to hand to make these decisions, managers need to consult data that may be siloed and fragmented – residing in different systems, spreadsheets, and sometimes email chains.

“Our clients benefit from the transparency the Beeline Extended Workforce Platform offers them. The ability to quickly analyze their spending across departments, roles, and functions guides their decisions, and data surrounding individuals allow them to make granular decisions which are entirely data-driven,” Manfred concluded.

The airline industry exemplifies the cost-driven approaches many organizations needed to take in the wake of the global pandemic. But as organizations return to full-scale operations, they begin to face an entirely new set of challenges: acquiring talent in a world experiencing a shortage of skills and labor, and operating with new working patterns and flexibility.

Sourcing talent in a talent-scarce world

From a situation where organizations were seeking to become more streamlined, the approach to talent acquisition changed as business returned to a more regular scale. The challenge was no longer about cost-savings, it became a challenge of cost optimization.

“Businesses are finding themselves in a situation where they can ill-afford to pay a premium to get the talent they need,” Manfred clarifies.

“From a financially-driven cost limitation strategy, the financial concerns became one of cost optimization. Likewise, talent acquisition priorities changed. Talent is not abundant as it once was.”

With less talent available and greater competition for high-quality candidates, organizations that can access talent through more channels put themselves at a healthy advantage compared with those that cannot. Fortunately, new technology can uncover the best channels for sourcing talent and put the spotlight on talent that could get overlooked. How can software help in this respect? The answer: augmented intelligence.

Introducing augmented intelligence for talent acquisition

“Technology needs to be built around people – and not to replace them,” says Manfred. “That’s where augmented intelligence diverges from artificial intelligence,” he continues.

Augmented intelligence seeks to inform guided buying – where data, technology, and insights surface to help a human make a nuanced hiring decision, rather than recommending a single solution as an algorithm would by itself.

“The processes for acquiring talent are unchanged. A hiring manager still creates a job requisition or assignment, timesheets still need to be produced, and invoices need to be generated,” he explained.

Technology is already helping speed up these tasks. Augmented intelligence goes further. It seeks to leverage the data outputs of these tasks. It can, for example, understand what a job requisition means using natural language processing, then uncover talent that uses synonyms of the same words, or very closely matches those requirements. With these candidates surfaced, it gives users far more control and insight into available talent.

“This is where Beeline Extended Workforce Platform differs from Vendor Management solutions. You cannot recruit, acquire, and onboard talent in the same way you would procure pencils. There is more subtlety needed, as you are dealing with humans – and their experience as a candidate matters if you want to retain them,” Manfred concludes.

Augment to enhance, Beeline – The Extended Workforce Platform

Beeline is the world’s first extended workforce platform, a category-defining solution that introduces talent-centricity at the heart of its functionality and feature set. To learn more about the platform, augmented intelligence in talent acquisition, and competing for talent, get in touch with one of our experts.

To learn more about Beeline, book a demo and see why Europe’s biggest extended workforce operators continue to choose Beeline.